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Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

Federer and Kyrgios could combine for classic New York battle

In-form Bertens can trounce young gun Vondrousova

Roger Federer and Nick Kyrgios renew their rivalry at the US Open
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Amazon Prime, 4pm Saturday

R Federer v N Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios was at the centre of a storm that, for once, wasn't of his own making on Thursday as the fiery Australian staged a comeback in his second-round match following a pep talk from umpire Mohamed Lahyani.

Lahyani controversially stated during at changeover over that he "wanted to help Kyrgios", calling the Australian "great for tennis", and that seemed to spark the inconsistent 23-year-old into life as he proceeded to turn around the match against Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

Kyrgios looked uninterested before Lahyani's intervention but the Aussie should have no problems with motivation when he takes on Roger Federer in a potential cracker on Arthur Ashe.

The pair have met three times before in ATP competition. A young Kyrgios beat Federer on clay in Madrid in 2015 but the 20-time Grand Slam champion turned the record around with victories at Miami last year and in Stuttgart in June. They also faced off in the non-ATP sanctioned Laver Cup where Federer won 11-9 in the third set to take the title for the European team.

A trademark of their meetings has been long sets, many of which have been settled by a tiebreak. Including the Laver Cup, all four of their meetings have gone the distance featuring nine tiebreaks from a possible 11.

Motivation shouldn't be an issue for Kyrgios while Federer has looked in decent form against Yoshito Nishioka and Benoit Paire at Flushing Meadows.

A classic contest could well be on the cards with a long match likely to unfold so punters should consider backing over 39.5 games which should land if the match features four sets or more.

Over 39.5 games in R Federer v N Krygios
3pts 8-11 Betfred, Sky Bet

K Bertens v M Vondrousova
Kiki Bertens has taken her hard-court game to a new level this season and the Dutchwoman should score a comfortable success over young gun Marketa Vondrousova.

Bertens was in danger of being pigeonholed as a clay specialist following her exploits on the dirt but the 26-year-old reached the quarter-finals of the Rogers Cup before recording the biggest success of her career when she beat Simona Halep in the Cincinnati final.

She is up to a career-high 13th in the WTA rankings and is refusing to let up at Flushing Meadows - a 6-2 6-1 victory against Francesca Di Lorenzo following a 6-0 7-5 win over Kristyna Pliskova.

Vondrousova is one of the brightest prospects in the women's game but has yet to really threaten a Grand Slam breakthrough and it's unlikely that she will reach the second week at the expense of Bertens.

K Bertens to win 2-0
2pts 4-5 bet365

Other matches
There are plenty of tantalising third-round ties in New York on Saturday with battles between youth and experience looking a common theme.

Alex de Minaur is improving swiftly, although the exciting Australian will have to find more if he's to upset Marin Cilic, who looked imperious against Hubert Hurkacz in the second round.

Speaking of imperious, Alexander Zverev has barely broken sweat in beating Peter Polansky and Nicolas Mahut but is a short price to see off fellow German Philipp Kohlschreiber, as is Novak Djokovic against fellow veteran Richard Gasquet.

In the women's event, Dominika Cibulkova could cause problems for 2016 US champion Angelique Kerber while big-hitting youngsters Aryna Sabalenka and Jelena Ostapenko have chances to upset Petra Kvitova and Maria Sharapova respectively.

Ostapenko in particular should enjoy the pace of Sharapova's shots so the 2006 champion will have to pull out all the stops to see off the powerful Latvian.

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A trademark of their meetings has been long sets, many of which have been settled by a tiebreak
E.W. Terms
Sky bet